Man cleared of raping Weston mother and girl
- Credit: Archant
A MAN accused of raping a Weston mother and her five-year-old daughter has been acquitted of all charges this week.
On Tuesday at Bristol Crown Court, a jury decided the defendant – who cannot be named to protect the identity of the two accusers – was found not guilty of the rape and sexual abuse of his then-girlfriend and her daughter.
Last week, the prosecution accused the defendant of carrying out 18 months of sustained attacks against the woman and child until spring 2004.
The mother, who had not seen the defendant for a decade prior to the trial, was questioned in court along with two of her children; her son and daughter, who is now a teenager.
Defence counsel Kate Brunner QC told the jury: “If you don’t know where the truth lies, that means a not guilty verdict.
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“Why would [the mother] make it up and go to the police and come here (to court), which is clearly an unpleasant thing to do? Why would [the daughter] do that?
“My answer is I don’t know, and that’s alright – I don’t have to give you a reason why they lied, the defendant doesn’t have to prove they are lying, he doesn’t have to prove anything to you.
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“The big question is not why would they lie, but can we be sure they are telling the truth?”
Although the defendant accepted that domestic violence had been a feature of his relationship with the older of the two women, he denied any sexual assault ever took place.
Ms Brunner said: “[The mother’s] description of what happened after [the alleged rape] just doesn’t fit how the world works.
“Put yourself in that situation; do you think for one moment if that had really happened she would have tucked the children up in bed and nodded off?
“She did nothing to protect the children or herself, she carried on leaving her children alone with him. These are not the actions of someone who has been threatened and raped.”
The defence also denied any sexual assault against the child, and said: “Her version of what happened just does not fit how the world works – there’s absolutely no supporting evidence at all.”
Jurors took around an hour to clear the man of rape, assault and sexual assault.